Infinity Ward staying open despite 35 defections

Publisher provides update on Modern Warfare 2 studio resignations, emphasizes that developer "remains an important studio" and is already working on "next big project"--ID'd in court as Modern Warfare 3.

Last week, Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey made headlines with the suggestion that Activision would deal with the exodus of high-level talent from Infinity Ward by shuttering the developer. In a post-earnings conference call today, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick both updated investors on the wave of departures and recommitted the publisher to keeping Infinity Ward going.

It wouldn't really be "Infinity Ward" if it had an end, right?

Kotick said that since the company publisher terminated Infinity Ward cofounders Jason West and Vince Zampella in March, the studio has seen the departures of approximately 35 employees.

"We are obviously disappointed about this, and we wish we could convince some of these talented people to stay," Kotick said, but added that the company felt it had no choice but to fire West and Zampella. The executive said he personally had considered the pair to be his friends, and their actions had compromised that friendship.

As for what will happen to the studio, Activision didn't reference Hickey's report directly, but the meaning was clear. The publisher said Infinity Ward "remains an important studio," and emphasized that it will provide the resources, people, and talent needed "to maintain the highest level of content quality." The studio is currently working on the second Modern Warfare 2 downloadable content add-on, as well as an unnamed "next big project." That project has been named in numerous court papers as being Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Infinity Ward has been the center of turmoil within Activision since the firings of West and Zampella. The pair sued the company, which sued back, alleging they had been plotting to start a new studio with chief Activision rival Electronic Arts. Within weeks, West and Zampella did just that. A number of Infinity Ward developers jumped ship to join the new studio, dubbed Respawn Entertainment, while others simply resigned. Last month, a group of 38 former and current Infinity Ward developers sued Activision for as much as $625 million, alleging the publisher had been withholding royalty and bonus payments due them.

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Discussion

257 comments
joey97
joey97

Well if they dont put over power guns and kill streaks like in Mw2 and if they listend to the community they would be good... You know what would make cod better ? A brand new game engine :)

Afrocrab
Afrocrab

As long as these next games are good....

joey97
joey97

IW IS BACK.. NO NO NOO I HATE THEMMMMMMMMMMM. THERE THE WORSTTTTTTT

GamerforChrist
GamerforChrist

I pray that Modern Warfare 3 is good, with all that has happened.

badman11226
badman11226

Cant wait for modern warfare 3 2011 and black ops 2 2012 and COD: back to the future 2013.

Falmar
Falmar

@emperiox "this cadet's logic doesnt seems sound"

senator990
senator990

EA and Activision are all the same. its just poor Developers who get stuck between Publishers from time to time!!

emperiox
emperiox

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Joshk1997
Joshk1997

KOTICK YOU EVIL M*TH*RF*CK*R I HOPE YOU BURN IN HELL!!!

EgoAttacker
EgoAttacker

Modern Warfare was such a great idea, now it's been ruined by the typical corporate bullsh**

sensei_hEnRY
sensei_hEnRY

hhh...idk if what kind of Call of Duty can be produce by what's left from Infinity Ward. I hope MW3 won't be beat to death by Respawn and EA's new IP

RitterXplode
RitterXplode

Quality.... pfff. Just money, that's how it works. I hope next CoD fails so they learn their lesson.

FartMonkey65
FartMonkey65

Well that choice seems to be biting Activision in the ass...

Xenon752
Xenon752

I hope Respawn win - Activision has really overused the CoD brand. They should leave it alone now, after releasing way too many titles... bring on the new title. I'll be looking forward to it.

josenimo
josenimo

Dont care Halo Reach is coming out I hope respanw comes out with a better game.

kornogaphy93
kornogaphy93

whens the next COD with zombies coming out?

da_vortexx
da_vortexx

The publisher said Infinity Ward "remains an important studio," and emphasized that it will provide the resources, people, and talent needed "to maintain the highest level of content quality." Thats a bunch of bull. if they wanted highest level of content quality, they would have allowed IW to have as much time as they needed to release the game. Instead, they pushed it through forcing them to cut down certain aspects that IW wanted to put in.

THE-ZOZ
THE-ZOZ

I used to love IW as a gaming company, but now i hate them for making such a terrible game in MW2.

THE-ZOZ
THE-ZOZ

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Nivram045
Nivram045

"The executive said he personally had considered the pair to be his friends, and their actions had compromised that friendship." BS XD

Rev8691
Rev8691

and this game may be halted in production soon if West and Zampella win the lawsuit. and most likey MW3 would be postponed indefinitely if the pair have control over their franchise again, due to the new franchise they would like to start.

Jonny7892
Jonny7892

Just another immature and totally expected move by Activision. They only reason they are keeping it open is becasue they won't admit defeat to West, Zampella and the other IW defectors. Who knew supposed 'adults' could be so childish.

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

Activision still owns the studio huh? And the MW2 code? Then I assume the new MW3 will be equal to MW2 atleast. It also depends on which people who left, if all the ingenious people (senior code monkeys) are still there it could still be a good game coming. Just saying. No particular love for Activision though :)

themovi3nut
themovi3nut

It would be tragic if they shut up shop.

polodoro
polodoro

With 35 departures Modern Warfare 3 and anything else that comes out of this studio will be rubbish. Activision, fail doesn't even begin to begin to cut it.

DeadnBuried
DeadnBuried

@akiwak MW1 and MW2 were just okay games anyway, 4 hour campaigns and twitch online multiplayer. Sure it was a bit of fun, but nothing more than who-sees-who-first.

akiwak
akiwak

The up side: Yes they are going to release MW3!!! The down side: It will significantly go down in quality. The next game released will be just an ok game but not be nearly as good as the previous releases.....

DuncanM908
DuncanM908

I'm not going to buy it either way, but I will laugh my ass off if this turns out to be the best Modern Warfare yet. How embarrassed would West and Zampella be?

chadbtownvt
chadbtownvt

its funny how bobby kotick tries to make the whole situation OK, like he didn't just lose 35 members of infinity ward and most have joined Vince and Jason at Respawn. OK if i work somewhere and the boss doesn't pay me and i don't get my pay check on time and i keep getting excuses about when I'll get it you better believe I'll be looking else where for a new job you kidding me, kotick wants to keep all royalties for him self, douche bag.

JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

@dynamo11 Last I checked EA wasn't beating anyone, Especially when it comes to making money... maybe if losing money was the goal.

Valas_Azuviir
Valas_Azuviir

@thenavman Naah, simply an issue of burn out with most of them, the closure was indeed based on it supposedly not meeting the standards of Vivendi. Then again, Vivendi wasn't exactly known as a good judge of what works and what doesn't anyway. Least not in my book anyway. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blizzard_North for more.

mrbrainheart
mrbrainheart

Tune in next time, when Activision counter-counter sues Respawn, Bungie discovers that his marriage with activision isn't going as planned and Infinity ward gets into another fight with Activision. this might be the first soap I sort of like...

thenavman
thenavman

@ Valas_Azuviir I heard Blizzard North had started working on diablo3 and Blizzard hated what they had made so they fired most of them.

robtheguru
robtheguru

@clydeknightwind I thought they had signed the rights over to Activision. For once in my life I hope i'm wrong lmao

coruscant
coruscant

@clydeknightwind Yeah exactly, that's what we're all hoping for I think!

clydeknightwind
clydeknightwind

HAHAHA CoD MW3? It's not gonna happen from activision if they lose the suit. West and Zampella have the rights to the intellectual property in the contract last i heard and that would go them in the case of a win from the prosecution.

DFen
DFen

another dlc for mw2, in my opinion the first dlc wasnt really worth getting especially for the price of $15 they need to add old weapons from cod4 or more maps in the package, maybe that'll make it worth buying

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

EA beating Activi$ion with both BBC2 and the new Medal of Honour that looks amazing!

SirMordredX
SirMordredX

@robtheguru Agreed, and it's ironic that the creators of Modern Warfare also founded the Medal of Honor series. Activision will live to regret their decisions I think.

megaking_34
megaking_34

I'll give my hope that IW will make Modern Warfare 3 the best while Activision is being for nice then greedy (odds of that are 1 out of 9999999999) anyway, hope of the map pack will be more better. I'm kinda surprise that Treyarch is not affected by this. What's up with that

robtheguru
robtheguru

To be honest, Activision are just a bunch of money grabbing thugs. Asking people to pay £10 for 5 maps, 2 of which are just taken from the original MW, is absolutely rediculous. I hope MW3 bombs and it's a definite possibility considering how amazing the new Medal of Honor looks.

SteelTiger360
SteelTiger360

I have all the hope for Respawn Entertainment, but I'm still somewhat interested to see how Modern Warfare 3 is going to work out and if it bombs well at least I still have Battlefield: BC 2.

shkar
shkar

Shame on them,,,for they ruined the victory they have achieved in Modern Warfare 2

Dorgoth12
Dorgoth12

its all about Respawn Entertainment now the best of IF have joined it

edmond_villamor
edmond_villamor

Come on guys IW won't close if Activision don't say so because they have money. they are releasing Sta Craft 2 and another Call of Duty game not to mention World of Warcraft, I'm sure they have money to burn. My point is that I've seen so many hate comments here and IGN and I'm just sick of people telling Activision to go f@k themselves. Honestly, I don't think this Kotik is a nice guy but even if he isn't, he won't give a rats behind what people think in Gamespot it just makes people sound immature. I respect the comments posted here and though but I just would like to comment on all the profanity against them (Activision). These are public forums and some people read through them, I just don;t see the point why people have to swear to get their opinions heard.

KLCore
KLCore

The 2nd Map Pack should have more Maps and it should be for FREE this time!! $15 is way too much for only 5 new Maps, sry i mean 3! I rather play Bad Company 2 >> Free Maps!

ryogapower
ryogapower

the second map pack better be good, stimulus was a let down. please dont give us unchanged old maps again for chrissake. we all have our copy of cod4, we can play them for free whenever we want. they should at least change them up a little (newly opened areas, weather conditions, time of day etc..). Bailout is the only good new map in the pack and it aint worth £11 on its own. the treyarch map packs were quality.

Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

I couldn't see them close infinity ward because of brand recognition. the general public associates that name with pretty much all the GOOD call of duty releases (especially the modern warfare series) and to dissolve it now seems like another bad decision in a long line of bad decisions. empty seats can be filled, and i'm sure it's simpler to do that than to close up shop and reassign (or fire) the remaining team. Kotick calling those people his "friends" is pretty funny though. i didn't think satan had friends.

Solidsnake13_2
Solidsnake13_2

So what happens when you do pay your hard working developer studio? This stuff happens. I'm shocked in my opinion that Infinity Ward will stay open after this period of struggle for Activision.

Valas_Azuviir
Valas_Azuviir

@ theslimdavylp Why? Burn out most likely, it's one reason why Blizzard switches out IPs every now and then, to keep things fresh. Also the reason why the Blizzard North guys bolted, they'd already done two Diablo's and wanted to do something else for a change, they were told no, so they resigned.